Ten@10: Expert says a top 3 national recruiting ranking possible for Georgia

THE TEN AT 10:

1. Georgia’s 2011 recruiting class has a chance to be ranked in the top five nationally and possibly the top three if it manages to close on all its main targets on national signing day, national recruiting expert Tom Lemming of CBS College Sports Network said Thursday.

The Bulldogs already have secured commitments from six of the top 12 players on the AJC Fab 50 list and will find in the next several days if they’ll add Georgia’s top two players. Thomas County defensive end Ray Drew, the No. 2-ranked player, will announce his choice on Friday. Carver-Columbus running back Isaiah Crowell, the No. 1 player, will announce on national signing day. Georgia is also in the lead for nose guard John Jenkins, Rivals.com’s No. 6-ranked junior college player. He will announce a week from Saturday.

If those prospects tab the Bulldogs, that will give them top player in America at three different positions. Valdosta’s Jay Rome, who committed to UGA last Thursday, is the No. 1-ranked tight end in the country.

“If they get those guys they will finish somewhere like third, fourth or fifth, maybe higher,” said Lemming, who has Drew and Rome No. 1 at their respective positions and Crowell number four. “Alabama, who is already No. 1, is going to be tough to beat, especially if they end up getting Jadeveon Clowney. Texas already has a great class, even though they recently lost their best player to Auburn. Florida State and LSU have good classes. Then there’s USC, who was supposed to be limited with 15 scholarships but is loading up because of their NCAA appeal. But Georgia’s going to be in that mix.”

The Bulldogs’ class currently ranks No. 8 by Scout.com, No. 9 by Rivals and 11 by ESPNU/Scouts Inc.

“A lot of it has to do with Mark Richt,” Lemming said. “He probably doesn’t get enough credit for being a great recruiter. And it’s Georgia itself. It’s the state school. I’ve been driving through there for 32 years and kids grow up wanting to be Bulldogs, no matter what the situation is.”

2. Drew, by the way, said it was he, not the college teams recruiting him, who canceled all the in-home visits scheduled for this week. Clemson, Auburn and LSU were all due in his Thomasville home this week, but Drew said he asked them not to come.

“I needed this week just to breathe a little bit and clear my mind,” the 6-foot-5, 250-pound defensive end said. “I didn’t want to talk to any more coaches.”

Drew is going to announce his decision Friday morning at 10 a.m. at Thomas County Central High School. That has required a lot of his time to get ready. Not only has he had to figure out who he’s going to pick — he already knows, by the way — and how he’s going to do it, but he also is having to juggle his academic schedule. He’s having to take one test today that was scheduled for Friday so he can get it out of the way.

“I’m ready to get it out and get it over with,” he said.

Drew offered no hints or intentional deflections were provided by Drew this time. He said will talk about finalists Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, LSU and Miami on Friday. But there will be no hat ceremony, he said. “Only the one I’m going to put on my head when I say where I’m going.

3. In case you missed it, Crowell canceled his visit to Auburn set for this weekend and has eliminated the reigning national champions from consideration. So he will pick between Alabama and Georgia when he makes his announcement on national signing day.

The ceremony, which will include all of his college-bound teammates, will be held at 1:30 .p.m. at the Occasions Event Center at 1807 Victory Drive in Columbus. ESPNU will carry Crowell’s announcement to a national television audience.

There is drama beyond Crowell to be played out. Four-star defensive tackle Gabe Wright reportedly is torn between Auburn and Tennessee.

4. It was no coincidence that Tre Mason accepted a scholarship to Auburn on the same day that Isaiah Crowell canceled his visit to the Plains. The Tigers were telling Crowell he was their first choice. But almost as soon as Crowell informed Auburn coaches he wasn’t coming, Mason announced that he committed to the Tigers.

Auburn also picked up a late commitment Wednesday from defensive end Devaunte Sigler of Mobile, Ala. Sigler (6-3, 250) is rated a three-star prospect by both Rivals.com and Scout.com. He chose Auburn over LSU and Mississippi State. Could it be that he filled the spot that was being held for Drew? Guess we’ll find out tomorrow.

5. There seems to have been some confusion over the contact that was made and what might have been said between Georgia Tech and North Carolina State commitment Dave Mann. The bottom line is the defensive end from Lithonia has not received a scholarship offer from the Yellow Jackets and is not going to get one. Mann is expected to sign with the Wolfpack on national signing day.

Mann’s teammate Cedrick Cooper is also garnering a lot of recruiting interest. He made an official visit to South Carolina last week and is going to choose between the Gamecocks, Arkansas and Ole Miss on national signing day.

6. Many ot the top prospects in Metro Atlanta will be signing their scholarships or just dropping by [CORRECTION FOLLOWING] Andretti Karting in Roswell (11000 Alpharetta Highway, Roswell, GA 30076) on national signing day. Radio station 680 The Fan (WCNN) will be broadcasting its “Chuck & Chernoff Show,” featuring Matt Chernoff and Chuck Oliver, live from that location. Fox 5 Atlanta’s Buck Lanford and Ken Rodriguez, former Georgia coach Jim Donnan and Doug Konkel are also expected to be guests of the Touchdown Club of Atlanta-sponsored event.

7. There’s a great piece by Andy Staples at SI.com on the practice of oversigning. A former colleague at the AJC, Staples broke down the number of players all 120 FBS schools signed over the last five years and calculated a yearly average. The numbers are incredibly enlightening. And Staples takes a hard line in his commentary.

Based on the data, Georgia Tech (115th) is one of the best about sticking to the numbers and Georgia (70th) is not bad either. Troy, which has signed an average of 32.8 players over the last five years, is the worst offender. Ole Miss (29), Auburn (28.8) and Mississippi State (27.6) are second, third and fourth, respectively. Alabama, often been targeted as a chief culprit, is 10th at 26.6 per year.

8. Georgia’s probably not so upset anymore about not landing four-star wide receiver Tobias Singleton. He was arrested in Mississippi recently and is facing some serious charges. And apparently his real name is Tobias Manning.

9. Unless you bought the print edition of the AJC this past Sunday or get our incredible iPad application, you probably didn’t get a chance to read Michael Carvell’s terrific piece on “package deals” in recruiting. But it’s online now and you can read it by simply CLICKING THIS LINK.

10. THIS & THAT: Westlake defensive back Ronnie Harris gained his academic acceptance into Stanford this week. That dramatically increased the likelihood he’ll sign with Cardinal on Wednesday. “I love the school,” he told Rivals.com. “I’m just thinking about when I’m going to commit. It’s Stanford all the way right now. It might happen today. It might happen tomorrow. I’m not sure.” . . .

Lauderdale Lakes linebacker Kent Turene confirmed his plans to takes his final official visit to Texas Tech this weekend. A three-star prospect who is committed to Southern Cal, Turene made an official to UGA last weekend and raved about the Bulldogs. . . . Elbert County running back Valdon Cooper committed to Illnois. He is expected to play cornerback for the Illini. . . . DJ Miolen, a tight end/defensive end from North Hall, committed to the Air Force Academy. He took an official visit there last weekend. . . .

We’ve been unable to reach defensive tackle Tre Jackson to confirm whether he will make an official visit to Miami this weekend or honor his commitment to Georgia Tech.  . . . UGA commitment Zach DeBell called me Wednesday to make sure I knew he was definitely going to sign with the Bulldogs on NSD. DeBell, a 6-foot-7, 275-pound offensive tackle, wavered a little after Stacy Searels bolted Georgia for Texas. . . . Jadeveon Clowney, the consensus No. 1 prospect in the country, graces the cover of the latest edition of ESPN The Magazine. . . .

Here’s a sad one: A Mississippi State fan/Facebook stalker was cited as a big reason why linebacker C.J. Johnson of Philadelphia, Miss., eliminated the Bulldogs from consideration and ultimately ended up committing to rival Ole Miss.

By Chip Towers, The College Recruiting Blog

480 comments Add your comment

sandman053

January 27th, 2011
10:03 am

10:02..excellent work Chip..just as the tremors started lol

B.G

January 27th, 2011
10:08 am

2nd again dang! Go UGA!

sandman053

January 27th, 2011
10:08 am

I think it looks good for UGA to finish strong with this class and if we get a NSD surprise of large magnitude, Clowney stays in state at SC, then UGA COULD pass Bama for #1. Go Dawgs! and hurry up Wednesday!

chilidawg

January 27th, 2011
10:12 am

I just hope they’re using bag men wearing Auburn hats.

sandman053

January 27th, 2011
10:14 am

I like how Turene is raving about the Dawgs…too bad he can’t see the writing on the wall at So Cal. The probation is going to hit hard his first three years there. Plus NC’s come out od the SEC not Pac-10

BigDawg

January 27th, 2011
10:15 am

I have never looked over these blogs so much in my life about recuiting. Richt really doesnt get enough credit for picking up such good recuits because fl has killed us in our division for my whole entire life. Times are about to change baby DREAM TEAM B*ITCHES

HWJ

January 27th, 2011
10:15 am

Chip any word on the Pagan rumors or Dickson possibly switching signing day. Also do we have a shot at any other players besides Jenkins, Drew, Crowell, Richardson, Turene, etc. ??

jimmyjohn

January 27th, 2011
10:15 am

Not trying to hate on UGA, but don’t they pretty much get a top 5 class every year? I know it is exciting to pick up all these hyped up players, but the team is already loaded with 5 stars and they were 6-7 last year. Richt can definitely recruit, but it seems he has trouble coaching these “5 star” kids up to their full potential.

RxDawg

January 27th, 2011
10:17 am

Woot! Thanks Chip.

That story #7 is total crap. Every MSU fan should now stalk that bozo and the University should officialy ban him from attending any University events for a period of time. And if the stalker is an MSU student? Force him to go to Ole Miss lol.

UGA 4 Life! I Bleed Red and Black!

January 27th, 2011
10:17 am

Let’s Go UGA! We Need To Develop and Keep These Georgia Prep Stars In-State

kudzu

January 27th, 2011
10:17 am

You’re kidding right? Haven’t we seen this script before…”top class, poor results” I’d rather take the 3 star recruits and coaching em UP…..kids with character FIRST…We make too much of teenagers already.

Daniel

January 27th, 2011
10:17 am

Looks like they’re going to finish strong, but it won’t matter unless they can coach these guys up to their potential. UGA’s 2-deep is laden with top talent but the past few years they’re just going through the motions.

Dawg Man

January 27th, 2011
10:18 am

I feel pretty good about Crowell, Drew, and Jenkins. Hard to tell for anyone else at this point

BigTimeTECHFan

January 27th, 2011
10:18 am

My guess is Mann would have received offer if Tech did not get commit from Flowers from Alabama. You have to keep options open and have only a few offers to go around at this point. So they find out player interest, then if specific player turns down offer you have someone else ready.

Chip: can you break down how many spots Georgia Tech, an UGA have left, I think it’s 1 for Tech but not sure.

Worm

January 27th, 2011
10:22 am

Would be like the class of 79 when we signed the #1 back-Herschel and the #1 lineman-Winford Hood…Chip, I asked yesterday, but is Ronnie Harris the son of the former Bulldawg with the same name.

Chris

January 27th, 2011
10:23 am

Thanks for the info Chip. Any idea who CMR might hire as his o-line coach?

Sharpsburg Dawg

January 27th, 2011
10:24 am

I really hope Clowney goes to South Carolina…..it’s going to be interesting to see what happens over @ Bama with all the guys they have committed. A couple of kids are bound to get their feelings hurt….

BuckheadDawg

January 27th, 2011
10:25 am

Man this is getting old….just wish these kids would all just bark.

Drew brought all this on himself, btw. Don’t feel sorry for him he has two tests…

DublinDawg

January 27th, 2011
10:27 am

Great work Chip!

dostadawg

January 27th, 2011
10:27 am

any word on the wr peake committed to clemson looking elsewhere?

shankit

January 27th, 2011
10:27 am

Drew didn’t bring this all on himself,
it is part of the plan.

VA DAWG

January 27th, 2011
10:29 am

Not big into recruiting rankings, but this class differs for the simple fact these kids WANT to be DAWGS. The in-state talent grew up wanting to be DAWGS and represent this state, as oppose to a kid from Texas or NJ who have no desire to represent this state. Now hopefully this translates into depth at each position (something lacking the past few years) and most importantly…competition. No more entitlement…the best player should play regardless of class. GO DAWGS!

Alabamadawg

January 27th, 2011
10:29 am

Thanks Chip. Did the dawgs even offer that runningback from Grady Highschool a scholarship ? I read that Carvell thought he was actually the best runningback in Georgia.

shankit

January 27th, 2011
10:31 am

Well spoken VA DAWG, and this class
also brings field leadership. Someone will
get their butt spanked in the huddle by the future leaders
of this class if they get lax.

Flyin' Dawg

January 27th, 2011
10:31 am

jimmyjohn, the last two recruiting classes have been somewhat dissapointing. Niether were top five clasees, and if I am not mistaken, neither had a five star player.

RxDawg

January 27th, 2011
10:31 am

“I really hope Clowney goes to South Carolina…..”

I sure don’t. I hope that guy gets as far out of the SEC east as we can get him. Bama would be fine with me but even better would be FSU. Even better than that would be Alaska St. Or Oxford, yeh Oxford would suit me just fine =D

schmeckdawg

January 27th, 2011
10:32 am

Nice job Chip. Quick question, does the fact that Drew cancelled his other in home visits with those other schools and given the fact that he has had an in home with Bobo make YOU feel that he will be a DAWG?

Flyin' Dawg

January 27th, 2011
10:35 am

Although I guess it depends on the recruiting service who ranks them. Ogletree will be a stud and Murray came in with Charles, but players like Marlon Brown have been disappointing at best. Branden Smith has been decent, but I think rating him as a five star may have been overshooting it.

mcdavidastro

January 27th, 2011
10:37 am

I wish it would make a difference geting all this top talent but I don’t think it does. Next year at Georgia is not going to be pretty but at least thare will be talent when a real coach arrives. Richt can recruit but unfortunately he’s not interested in the investment it takes to coach in the SEC.

BFD

January 27th, 2011
10:38 am

The only reason these kids are choosing uga is because it’s the state school and in the SEC. CMR is definitely on his last legs as head coach and were he the coach of Ole Miss, he wouldn’t get a sniff from these Georgia high schoolers. Ah well, they’ll learn the hard way from the bad choice they’re about to make.

sandman053

January 27th, 2011
10:40 am

I believe that folks are going to be pleasantly surprised with the “new and improved” Mark Richt. I’m still not sold on Bobo as an OC, but it is what we have and we will just have to suck it up. As to this recruiting class it is going to be somewhat different..#1 they want to be here and #2 like the military, the recruiters get ‘em to sign, then they turn them over to the DI’s like CTG, Joe T., And Thomas Brown. Gonna be a great year to be a Dawg! Keep the faith!

ncb34

January 27th, 2011
10:44 am

with UGA getting 2 of the top 5 DB’s in the nation, does anyone else think branden smith could be a d. jackson for the eagles or percy harvin type of player on offense?? put him at reciever! his talent has been wasted thus far.

DawginLex

January 27th, 2011
10:44 am

Only took 8 comments for the hating to start.

Typical.

Reality is:

None of these recruits except for John Jenkins and maybe Crowell will have any impact on 2011.

Richt needs to win with what he has plus these other 2 kids in 2011 or he will be gone.

Strength and conditioning is the key to 2011 and beyond.

whoop te doo

January 27th, 2011
10:46 am

they had 4 top 5 and 8 top 10 classes from 02-09 and what did that get them
florida and alabama are the class of the sec and ga will always be third rate

SEC Poodles

January 27th, 2011
10:46 am

dostadawg, are you in the rumor business or do you just like flingin turds?

sandman053

January 27th, 2011
10:47 am

DawginLex I agree about S and C. Totally the key to the future ad I believe the reports I’ve heard about Joe T. being hard-nosed and making kids to go the weight room and the rumors there have been third and fourth year players puking their guts out have the opportunity to make us a much better team this season. Not to mention T. Brown monitoring meals, etc.

Chip Towers

January 27th, 2011
10:47 am

BigTimeTECHFan: Georgia Tech’s number right now is 24, as I understand it, and Georgia’s is 26. But they could sign more or less up to 28 depending on their in-house predictions of attrition and non-qualification. So you never know.

H-Town Dawg

January 27th, 2011
10:48 am

Close strong DAWGS we are about to shock the college football world with a TOP 3 recruiting class. WE REVEREND DREW, CROWELL, JENKINS AND TURENE. COME ON HOME FELLAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
GO DAWGS

sandman053

January 27th, 2011
10:48 am

I don’t believe we stand a chance with Peake, but Pagan is possibly wavering. Is he coming to Athens? I have no idea. I do believe we are going to get a surprise on NSD…just a hunch.

Flyin' Dawg

January 27th, 2011
10:49 am

SEC Poodles- That rumor has been flying around for a while. I heard it a week ago from one of the recruiting sites.

sandman053

January 27th, 2011
10:50 am

Using Chip’s #’s above we don’t have room for everyone wanting to come to Athens.

shankit

January 27th, 2011
10:50 am

Malcom Mitchell is the Percy Harvin type.
Also, He could be utilized like Hines Ward,
line him up in the Wildcat, backfield, wide’
receiver, motion, he will disrupt a defense.

BigTimeTECHFan

January 27th, 2011
10:51 am

thanks Chip

Oh, also see Cooper (DT) is going to Michigan this weekend, he did have Tech listed high, seems like he’s leaning on Big 10 schools now.

Paul N Destin

January 27th, 2011
10:51 am

Please allow UGA to finish #1 at something other than arrest. Just playing witch U. Go Dogs, Go Tech and Roll Tide Roll…

Brad J

January 27th, 2011
10:52 am

Drew tweeted wednesday he’s going to miami

sogadog

January 27th, 2011
10:53 am

Give CMR credit, assuming everything holds together, he has done a very good job recruiting this year. If he lands Drew and Crowell he will have done a magnificent job. Even if Drew and Crowell go elsewhere, CMR deserves a great deal of credit for assembling this recruiting class following a 6-7 season and being lambasted in the press constantly. The man can recruit. He can coach too, he just needs to work on his assistant coaches. All the fair weather fans who have criticized him the last two years may be eating their words the next few years. Remember Coach Dooley had some down years before he won the National Championship. Go Dawgs!

rduck

January 27th, 2011
10:53 am

sure hope tre jackson stays true to his committment. would love to have darian cooper and tuitt to fill out the class. long shots maybe, but still a shot. hopefully both instate schools close out strong on NSD… Go Jackets!!

SEC Poodles

January 27th, 2011
10:53 am

You found a rumor on a recruiting site??? Better send Chip a facebook message ASAP!

Replace Peake with Pagan in your rumors and you might be on to something

dap01

January 27th, 2011
10:54 am

Thomas Brown will be the best hire yet! He was a great Dawg with the kind of work ethic and attitude that is needed. JT’s hardnose attitude is also needed.

BigTimeTECHFan

January 27th, 2011
10:54 am

sandman053 – of the 26 UGA has I don’t think LeMay and and one other count as they have enrolled and taken classes already. Same for Braun at Tech.